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Jim and Denise Hnytka co-anchor “News 8 at 5”, the hour-long “News 8 at 6”, and “News 8 at 10” each weekday with Chief Meteorologist James Zahara and Sports Director Matt Randazzo.

Jim was the co-anchor of “Good Morning Quad Cities” with Julie Sisk for nine years starting in 2006. Before coming to mornings, Jim was the anchor and producer of “News 8 at 6:30” and a reporter for “News 8 at 10”. He’s also anchored the weekend broadcasts and was a reporter on the streets since he joined the WQAD News 8 team in 1995.

Jim is also the host of “The Cities”, a weekly half-hour public affairs program seen on WQPT-TV, the Quad Cities PBS station.

Before coming to the Quad Cities, Jim worked at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo, Michigan as an anchor and reporter for six years. Prior to that, Jim was an anchor and reporter for seven years at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

He got his start in radio in 1978 at WFON-FM in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He later joined WAXX/WAYY Radio Stations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he would start as an overnight Country music announcer before working in the station’s radio news department as a reporter and anchor.

Jim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire School of Journalism. He’s received numerous reporting awards from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. His long-form reporting earned him first place awards with the Iowa Associated Press, the Iowa Broadcast News Association, and the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.

Jim was president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association ( and is a past president of the Northwest Broadcast News Association which is now the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association (, an organization serving broadcast journalists in six Midwestern states.

Recent Articles
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    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Cemetery Preps

    This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from May 2003 by reporter Jim Mertens. ARSENAL ISLAND, Illinois – It’s the contrast between the hardened white granite and the soft green grass and trees. The National Cemetery on Arsenal Island is 140 years old this year (2003).    But it’s military precision is timeless… even in the afterlife. “That’ll work.” Navy veteran John Canterbury is a caretaker at the National Cemetery.    Part of his job is to team up […]

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    Chef Scott: Mac and Cheese Waffles

    BETTENDORF, Iowa – It’s time to find new ways to have breakfast all day long. “Don’t ever throw your waffle iron away or sell it in a yard sale,” warns Chef Brad Scott, director of Scott Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Center in Bettendorf. “We’re going to use it today to make Mac and Cheese Waffles with a little bacon, a little ham, and a little more cheese.” 1.  Start by following directions on a Macaroni and Cheese […]

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    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Soaring Eagle Populations

    This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from May 2006 by reporter Matt Hammill. THOMSON, Illinois –  Wildlife biologist Ed Britton is going full bore to see one of the most exciting times of year out here on the Upper Mississippi River. Spring on the refuge brings everything to life with giant white pelicans filling the skies, nesting white egrets filling the trees, and nature’s version of high-rise apartments in one of the largest cormorant rookeries on […]

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    Chef Scott: Grilled Cabbage Steak

    BETTENDORF, Iowa – It’s time to include vegetarians at the family grill. “You know, a lot of you vegetarians don’t get to stand out by the grill when everybody’s grilling protein,” says Chef Brad Scott, director of Scott Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Center on the Bettendorf campus. “Well, this time you can.” He starts with “a big, old cabbage and a big, old knife.” “I’m going to cut a nice slice out of here, about an inch […]

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    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Northwestern Shutdown

    This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from May 2001 by reporter Ken Price. STERLING, Illinois — It was grim news. Whiteside County always had a strong workforce with little unemployment. Much of that ended on May 18, 2001 when the owners of Northwestern Steel and Wire announced it would close its doors after more than a Century in Sterling and Rock Falls. Gone would be 1400 jobs. The Family Table Restaurant in Rock Falls will have […]

  • Chef Toby: spring rolls

    Chef Scott: Bacon Wrapped Cod

    Here’s a fun fact: Some people don’t like fish. “But if you can introduce a little bacon to it, they’ll eat it right up,” says Chef Brad Scott, director of Scott Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management center in Bettendorf. “So let’s get started, it’s very simple.” You can start with three three pieces of bacon and some very thick cut cod. 1. Add butter to the cod by rubbing it on both sides. 2. Spread Panko crumbs onto […]

  • Lillian Weber

    Quad City Dressmaker Dies on Eve of 101st Birthday

    Lillian Weber, the Bettendorf woman who pledged to sew 1,000 dresses for a charitable organization that clothes African children, died on the eve of her 101st birthday.

  • Clinton County Jail cell view from the outside photo provided by Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission

    Clinton County voters say yes to fund jail and sheriff’s department facility

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  • U.S. Senator Ted Cruz

    Trump Crushes, Cruz Quits

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has suspended his Presidential campaign on the heels of a big loss to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in Indiana. Trump received 53% of the vote and could receive all 57 Republican delegates from Indiana. Trump told cheering supporters he was going to “win bigly”. “It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold,” Trump said. “We are going to make America great again.” Ted Cruz had conceded just minutes earlier. “Together […]

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    Sanders Wins Indiana, Clinton Still Wins Delegates

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders racked up another win after gathering 53% of the vote in the Indiana Primary.  He may have defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Indiana, but he hasn’t changed the dynamics of the campaign. Indiana will give Sen. Sanders at least 42 of the state’s 83 pledged delegates.  It looks like Sec. Clinton will get 36 delegates. “I sense a great deal of momentum,” Sanders told reporters. “I think that while the path is narrow, […]

  • Chef Scott: Homemade Hungarian Goulash

    Chef Scott has some very fond memories. “You know when I was growing up, my grandmother used to take us to a place called ‘Sindt’s Bring ‘Er Inn’ in west end Davenport,” says Chef Scott, director of Scott Community College‘s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Center. “They had the best Hungarian Goulash.   We’re going to try to mimic that today.” 1.  Render down 1 pound of ground beef in a frying pan 2.  Add 1/2 cup celery 3.  Add 1/2 […]

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    THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Tornado that Hit Galva

    This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from April 2008 with reporter Pam Cunningham. It was April 18, 1996 when a powerful F-3 tornado hit Galva, Illinois in Henry County.  No one died from the storm, but three people had minor injuries. But that storm left behind a city that promised to stay safe for future storms. It also left behind an iconic image of one house, pushed off its foundation, teetering but in tact. The house […]